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Carcassone area suggestions?

A friend will be spending a few days in Carcassone (west of Montpellier, east of Toulouse) with his wife and 6-month-old child while in France for a family wedding. Looking for some tips of things they might try to do while in the area.

Posted by
11704 posts

My favorites included walking up mountains and exploring ruined castles. Not really what you want to do with a six-month old.

I visited in June, 2018. Here are some towns I loved in the area they might enjoy:

I camped walking distance from Carcassonne but only walked the cite a couple of nights (around 9 PM). It's pretty neat at night but I would have liked to have seen the Comtal museum. I didn't have time to plan a day visit (and worried about the crowds).

A lot of people talk up Albi. I found the church impressive but, otherwise, nothing really appealed to me there. I'm not a fan of Lautrec, so his museum had no appeal to me. Personally, I recommend skipping it.

Cordes sur Ciel is an almost too perfect medieval town. It wasn't crowded when I visited. If it's midsummer, it could be packed. I think Puycelci would be a good alternative if it's high season.

North of there is the town of Najac, one of my favorites in the area. It's a great town (small) with a really great castle.

Narbonne, Coullioure and Sete would be good choices along the Mediterrainean.

Before visiting the area I considered Burgundy the prettiest area of France. The Languedoc area is similar, rolling hills, forests, farmland and really old towns.

Posted by
1391 posts

I absolutely ADORE Albi***.
Cathedrale Ste Cecile is gorgeous - the largest brick building in the world. Ornate decoration inside.
My favorite cathedral in all of France.
Toulouse-Lautrec museum just next door.
Gorgeous ville in rose on the river Tarn.

Posted by
11704 posts

Forgot to add Foix another favorite castle and town southwest of Carcassonne.

Posted by
760 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,

Read Kate Moss' The Labyrinth.

The castles south of Carcassone, getting close to the Spanish border, are built on the very top of of some very jagged mountains (steep, very steep hills). One or two of those might be fun.

Albi's cathedral is impressive. Built to look more like a fortress from the outside than a place of worship. And that has to do with the topic of Kate Moss' book. The Albigensian Heresy.

Minerve and the National Park Haut Languedoc is a good destination.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
132 posts

We spent a few days in Carcassonne.
A couple with a young child may not want to be doing too much travelling.
The town itself is quite large pop.40,000.
Of course the Cite is THE thing to see. Visiting early and late is great as you can wander the wonderful walls at your leisure. During "office hours" it gets very crowded. We still managed to find plenty of space. We were able to sit alone and have a picnic lunch just outside the walls. A visit to the Chateau Comtal and a wander along the top of the ramparts is worthwhile.
The Bastide within the actual town is an enjoyable place to wander and explore. Most of the tourists will be up at the Cite so it is uncrowded. There are several small museums. The Beaux Art museum is in a great old building and had plenty of jnteresting exhibitions.
We visited 3 interesting old churches. Place Carnot is a nice square that came alive with a massive farmers market one day. There are restaurants around the square.
A boat ride on the Midi Canal.
So if they don't want to be charging about with a 6 month old I think a few days in Carcassonne will be quite enjoyable.
We travelled from Carcassone to Collioure by train via Narbonne and Perpignan. It is a bit of a journey but Collioure is a lovely place with lots to do as well as some nice beaches.